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Temporary rates of customs duty on seafood imports after EU Exit

13 March 2019  |  Regulation

Last updated 9 April 2019

The UK government has announced the rates of customs duty (tariffs) that will apply to imports of goods into the UK if the UK leaves the EU with no deal.  The tariffs will be valid initially for 12 months. The government will be consulting on future permanent tariffs during this period. The new regime would affect only imports into the UK. 

The announcement lists 21 seafood products that will incur duty. These new tariffs mirror the tariffs that currently apply to seafood product imported into the EU, and range from 7.5% to 15% for unprocessed fish and are set at 24% for prepared or preserved tuna.

A large proportion of the seafood commodities that are imported into the UK are not listed in the government announcement and therefore will not incur a duty on import.  These products include salmon, whitefish (other than monkfish), pelagic fish and bivalve molluscs. Among the zero-tariffed seafood commodities are those currently covered by the European Union autonomous tariff quotas.

The government announcement can be accessed through this link

The tariffs in the UK government announcement are:

Commodity Code

Seafood Product

Tariff Rate

Additional Information

03038910

Frozen freshwater fish, not elsewhere specified

8%

Excluding fish fillets and other fish meat of heading 0304

03038990

Frozen fish, not elsewhere specified

15%

Excluding fish fillets and other fish meat of heading 0304

03048910

Frozen fillets of freshwater fish, not elsewhere specified

9%

 

03048990

Frozen fish fillets, not elsewhere specified

9%

 

03049965

Frozen meat (whether or not minced) of Monkfish (Lophius spp)

7.5%

Excluding fillets

03061792

Frozen shrimps of the genus “Penaeus”

12%

Even smoked or whether in the shell of not - including shrimps in shell cooked by steaming or by boiling in water

03061799

Frozen shrimps and prawns (excluding “Pandalidae” “Crangon” deepwater rose shrimps “Parapenaeus longirostris” and “Penaeus”)

12%

Even smoked whether in the shell or not - including shrimps and prawns in the shell cooked by steaming or by boiling in water

03061990

Frozen crustaceans fit for human consumption (excluding rock lobster and other sea crawfish, lobsters, shrimps, prawns, crabs, freshwater crayfish and Norway lobsters “Nephrops norvegicus”)

12%

Even smoked, whether in the shell or not, including crustaceans in the shell cooked by steaming or by boiling in water

16041421

Prepared or preserved skipjack whole or in pieces in vegetable oil

24%

Excluding minced

16041426

Fillets known as “Loins” of skipjack prepared or preserved whole or in pieces

24%

Excluding such products in vegetable oil or minced

16041428

Prepared or preserved skipjack whole or in pieces

24%

Excluding minced fillets known as “loins” and such products in vegetable oil

16041431

Prepared or preserved yellowfin tuna “Thunnus albacares” whole or in pieces in vegetable oil

24%

Excluding minced

16041438

Prepared or preserved yellowfin tuna “Thunnus albacares” whole or in pieces

24%

Excluding minced fillets known as “loins” and such products in vegetable oil

16041441

Prepared or preserved tuna whole or in pieces in vegetable oil (excluding minced skipjack and yellowfin tuna “Thunnus albacares”)

24%

 

16041448

Prepared or preserved tuna whole or in pieces (excluding minced fillets known as “loins” and such products in vegetable oil skipjack and yellowfin tuna “Thunnus albacares”)

24%

 

0301919011,

Live trout of the species Oncorhynchus mykiss

 

12%

Not ornamental, weighing 1.2kg or less each

0302118011

Trout, fresh or chilled, of the species Oncorhynchus mykiss

12%

In the form of whole fish (with heads on), whether or not gilled, whether or not gutted, weighing 1.2 kg or less each; with heads off, whether or not gilled, whether or not gutted, weighing 1 kg or less each. Excluding fish fillets and other fish meat of heading 0304.

0303149011

Trout, frozen, of the species Oncorhynchus mykiss

12%

In the form of whole fish (with heads on), whether or not gilled, whether or not gutted, weighing 1.2 kg or less each; with heads off, whether or not gilled, whether or not gutted, weighing 1 kg or less each. Excluding fish fillets and other fish meat of heading 0304.

0304429010

Fresh or chilled fillets of trout of the species Oncorhynchus mykiss

12%

 

0304829010

Frozen fillets of trout of the species Oncorhynchus mykiss

12%

 

0305430011

Smoked trout, including fillets, other than edible fish offal, of the species Oncorhynchus mykiss

14%

In the form of whole fish (with heads on), whether or not gilled, whether or not gutted, weighing 1.2 kg or less each; with heads off, whether or not gilled, whether or not gutted, weighing 1 kg or less each; fillets weighing 400 g or less each

 

Although there are only 21 seafood products on the new tariff list, the implications of these changes are potentially significant. Whereas previously the UK did not pay any duty on seafood products imported from the EU, in a no-deal situation UK importers will pay duty on the listed products if they are importing these products directly from the EU. These listed products already attract a tariff if they are imported directly from outside the EU and this will continue. Seafood products that are not on the list will continue to be imported with a tariff of zero. A summary can be found in the table below:

 

 Description

‘Current’ full tariff

‘No deal’ full tariff

Listed products imported from the EU

Zero

UK tariff

Unlisted products imported from the EU

Zero

Zero (no change)

Listed products imported from outside the EU

EU tariff

UK tariff (as this is equal to the EU tariff, there is no change)

Unlisted products imported from outside the EU

EU tariff

Zero

Preferential tariffs

The government announcement also contains information on preferential tariffs on imports from a number of countries, including Chile, the Faroe Islands, and countries that benefit from the General System of Preferences (GSP) scheme as follows:

  • All seafood from Chile will be zero tariffed except for the seven tariff lines listed that cover prepared and prepared tuna.
  • The arrangement for the Faroe Islands allows an additional five product lines of frozen fish and shrimps to be tariff free.
  • All seafood from the Eastern and Southern Africa States (Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Zimbabwe) will be zero tariffed. (Fishery products from Zimbabwe is not currently authorised for import.)
  • Imported seafood from countries currently benefiting from the GSP scheme will continue to benefit from the same low or zero tariffs after a no-deal exit from the EU.
  • Preferential tariffs are listed for seafood from Israel, Palestine and Switzerland.

Quotas

The UK government has released a draft list of tariff quotas for imported products, including seafood. Where a tariff quota applies, it will be possible to import limited amounts of particular types of seafood at a lower rate of duty. The quotas are listed in the Tariff Quota Rate Reference Document, available here

This Tariff Quota Rate Reference Document has been published in advance of a Statutory Instrument establishing the tariff rate quotas and establishing a regime for managing them. Management will be mostly on a first-come first-served allocation system. However, until the statutory instrument is available, there is no further detail on their application or their management.

Seafood products covered by the Autonomous Tariff Quotas (ATQs) are listed under Part B, Section 2, of the Reference Document. Quota volumes have not been assigned so far. The vast majority of these product lines will in any case be zero tariffed if the UK Trade Tariff comes into force, so importers will be able to bypass the ATQ system and still import these products duty free. However there are four products which will command a tariff, and in these cases it would be beneficial to make use of the ATQ allocation to import duty free. The  four products are:

Commodity Code Seafood Product Tariff Rate Quota Duty
0303899030 Pink cusk eel (Genypterus capensis), for processing 15% 0%
0306179220 Penaeus shrimp, not cooked, for processing 12% 0%
0306179910 Pleioticus muelleri shrimp, for processing 12% 0%
1604142610 Prepared skipjack loins, for processing 24% 0%


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